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Space and Astronomy News

Space and Astronomy News

Was Venus Once a Habitable Planet? - The European Space Agency's Venus Express is helping planetary scientists investigate whether Venus once had oceans. June 28, 2010

Astronomers Witness a Star Being Born - Astronomers have glimpsed what could be the youngest known star at the very moment it is being born. June 21, 2010

Exoplanet Caught on the Move - For the first time, astronomers have been able to directly follow the motion of an exoplanet as it moves from one side of its host star to the other. June 14, 2010

Cosmic Zoo in the Large Magellanic Cloud - Astronomers often turn their telescopes to the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC), one of the closest galaxies to our own Milky Way, in their quest to understand the Universe. June 7, 2010

Clue to Origin of Milky Way Gas Clouds Discovered - A surprising discovery that hydrogen gas clouds found in abundance in and above our Milky Way Galaxy have preferred locations has given astronomers a key clue about the origin of such clouds, which play an important part in galaxy evolution. May 31, 2010

Probing the Dark Side of the Universe - Advancing into the next frontier in astrophysics and cosmology depends on our ability to detect the presence of a particular type of wave in space, a primordial gravitational wave. May 24, 2010

Flash Flooding Paved Streambeds on Saturn's Moon - It appears flash flooding has paved streambeds in the Xanadu region of Saturn's moon Titan with thousands of sparkling crystal balls of ice, according to scientists with NASA's Cassini spacecraft. May 17, 2010

A Cluster and a Sea of Galaxies - A new wide-field image released by ESO displays many thousands of distant galaxies, and more particularly a large group belonging to the massive galaxy cluster known as Abell 315. May 10, 2010

Largest Atlas of Nuclear Galactic Rings Unveiled - An international team of astrophysicists has just unveiled the most complete atlas of nuclear rings, enormous star-forming ring-shaped regions that circle certain galactic nuclei. May 3, 2010

Galaxy Merger Dilemma Solved - Scientists at the Naval Research Laboratory have solved a long-standing dilemma about the mass of infrared bright merging galaxies. April 26, 2010

Supermassive Black Holes Strip Massive Galaxies of Star-Forming Gases - Black holes have long been beloved of science fiction writers for their destructive capabilities and peculiar ability to warp space time. April 19, 2010

Hiding out Behind the Milky Way - A leggy cosmic creature comes out of hiding in a new infrared view from NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE. The spiral beauty, called IC 342 and sometimes the "hidden galaxy," is shrouded behind our own galaxy, the Milky Way. April 12, 2010

Colony Of Young Stars Shines In New Spitzer Image - Astronomers have their eyes on a hot group of young stars, watching their every move like the paparazzi. April 5, 2010

First Temperate Exoplanet - Size Of Jupiter - Discovered - An international team of scientists, including several who are affiliated with UC Santa Barbara, has discovered a new planet the size of Jupiter. March 29, 2010

Bully Galaxy Rules The Neighborhood - Located half a billion light-years from Earth, ESO 306-17, is a large, bright elliptical galaxy in the southern sky of a type known as a fossil group. March 22, 2010

Mars Loses Part Of Its Atmosphere To Space Due To Solar Wind - Space physicists from the University of Leicester are part of an international team that has identified the impact of the Sun on Mars' atmosphere. March 15, 2010

Lava Likely Made River-Like Channel On Mars - Flowing lava can carve or build paths very much like the riverbeds and canyons etched by water, and this probably explains at least one of the meandering channels on the surface of Mars. March 9, 2010

Asteroid Killed Off The Dinosaurs - The Cretaceous-Tertiary mass extinction, which wiped out the dinosaurs and more than half of species on Earth, was caused by an asteroid colliding with Earth and not massive volcanic activity. March 8, 2010

First Of Missing Primitive Stars Found - Astronomers have discovered a relic from the early universe - a star that may have been among the second generation of stars to form after the Big Bang. March 5, 2010

Exotic Magnetar Has Extremely Strong Magnetic Fields - The Gran Telescopio CANARIAS (GTC) has observed an uncommon neutron star. Classified as magnetar, its nature is as peculiar as its official name: SGR 0418+5729. March 3, 2010

New 'Alien Invader' Star Clusters Found In Milky Way - As many as one quarter of the star clusters in our Milky Way - many more than previously thought - are invaders from other galaxies, according to a new study. March 1, 2010

Massive Planet Is On A 'Death March' - An international group of astrophysicists has determined that a massive planet outside our Solar System is being distorted and destroyed by its host star. February 26, 2010

NASA's WISE Mission Releases Medley Of First Images - A diverse cast of cosmic characters is showcased in the first survey images NASA from its Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE. February 24, 2010

Youngest Extra-Solar Planet Discovered - Astronomers have discovered the youngest extra-solar planet around a solar-type star, named BD+20 1790b. February 22, 2010

NASA's Chandra Reveals Origin O Key Cosmic Explosions - New findings from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory have provided a major advance in understanding a type of supernova critical for studying the dark energy that astronomers think pervades the universe. February 19, 2010

Get Set For A Possible Glimpse Of An Asteroid - The most prominent asteroid in the sky is currently yours for the perusing with binoculars - and perhaps even the naked eye. February 18, 2010

Listening To Other Stars - When scientists realised that observing and analysing oscillations in the Sun could provide information about its interior, it was only a matter of time before Helioseismology was put to work on other stars. February 16, 2010

Layers In A Mars Crater Record A History Of Changes - Near the center of a Martian crater about the size of Connecticut, hundreds of exposed rock layers form a mound as tall as the Rockies and reveal a record of major environmental changes on Mars billions of years ago. February 15, 2010

Ingredients For Life Present On Saturn's Moon Enceladus - Some of 'the major ingredients for life' are present on one of Saturn's moons, according to University College London scientists. February 11, 2010

Astronomers Find Rare Beast By New Means - For the first time, astronomers have found a supernova explosion with properties similiar to a gamma-ray burst, but without seeing any gamma rays from it. February 10, 2010

New Hubble Maps Of Pluto Show Surface Changes - NASA has released the most detailed set of images ever taken of the distant dwarf planet Pluto. February 9, 2010

Where Did Today's Spiral Galaxies Come From? - Galaxy morphology, or the study of the shapes and formation of galaxies, is a critical and much-debated topic in astronomy. February 8, 2010

Merging Galaxies Create A Binary Quasar - Astronomers have found the first clear evidence of a binary quasar within a pair of actively merging galaxies. February 5, 2010

Suspected Asteroid Collision Leaves Odd X-Pattern - NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has observed a mysterious X-shaped debris pattern and trailing streamers of dust that suggest a head-on collision between two asteroids. February 3, 2010

Explanation For The Differences Between Ganymede And Callisto - Differences in the number and speed of cometary impacts onto Jupiter's large moons Ganymede and Callisto some 3.8 billion years ago can explain their vastly different surfaces and interior states. February 2, 2010

Black Hole Hunters Set New Distance Record - Astronomers using ESO's Very Large Telescope have detected, in another galaxy, a stellar-mass black hole much farther away than any other previously known. February 1, 2010

Universe Is 30 Times More Run Down Than Thought - Cars run out of petrol, stars run out of fuel and galaxies collapse into black holes. As they do, the universe and everything in it is gradually running down. January 29, 2010

Spectacular X-Ray Tails Surprise Astronomers - Astronomer were surprised to find two distinct tails found on a long tail of gas that is believed to be forming stars where few stars have been formed before. January 26, 2010

Stunning New Image Of Cat's Paw Nebula - ESO has just released a stunning new image of the vast cloud known as the Cat's Paw Nebula or NGC 6334. January 25, 2010

Near-Earth Encounters Can 'Shake' Asteroids - For decades, astronomers have analyzed the impact that asteroids could have on Earth. New research examines the opposite scenario: that Earth has considerable influence on asteroids. January 22, 2010

Infrared Hunt Begins: WISE Starts All-Sky Survey - NASA's Wide Field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) began its survey of the infrared sky Jan. 14, 2010. January 20, 2010

HIFI Resumes Quest For Water In Universe - The back up system of HIFI, the state of the art Dutch space instrument on ESA's Herschel space telescope, has been switched on successfully. January 19, 2010

Mirror Testing At NASA Breaks Superstitious Myths - In ancient mythological times reflective surfaces like shiny metals and mirrors were thought to be magical and credited with the ability to look into the future. January 15, 2010

Fossil Fireballs From Supernovae Discovered - Studies of two supernova remnants using the Japan-U.S. Suzaku observatory have revealed never-before-seen embers of the high-temperature fireballs that immediately followed the explosions. January 14, 2010

How Earth Survived Its Birth - For the last 20 years, the best models of planet formation - or how planets grow from dust in a gas disk - have contradicted the very existence of Earth. January 12, 2010

Just 10 Percent Of Solar Systems Are Like Ours - In their quest to find solar systems analogous to ours, astronomers have determined how common our solar system is. January 7, 2010

Mars Images Reveal Evidence Of Ancient Lakes - Spectacular satellite images suggest that Mars was warm enough to sustain lakes three billion years ago, a period that was previously thought to be too cold and arid to sustain water on the surface. January 6, 2010

Massive Black Hole Implicated In Stellar Destruction - New results from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory and the Magellan telescopes suggest that a dense stellar remnant has been ripped apart by a black hole a thousand times as massive as the Sun. January 5, 2010

How The Moon Gets Its Exosphere - Several decades ago scientists discovered that the Moon, long thought to have no atmosphere, actually does have an extremely thin exosphere. January 4, 2010

Proplyds In The Orion Nebula - A collection of 30 never-before-released images of embryonic planetary systems in the Orion Nebula are the highlight of the longest single Hubble Space Telescope project ever dedicated to the topic of star and planet formation. December 31, 2009

Giant Planet Set for Cataclysmic Show - A team of Chinese astronomers have discovered a giant planet close to the exotic binary star system QS Virginis. December 29, 2009

Vampires And Collisions Rejuvenate Stars - Using the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, astronomers have uncovered two distinct kinds of "rejuvenated" stars in the globular cluster Messier 30. December 28, 2009

Brown Dwarf Pair Mystifies Astronomers - Two brown dwarf-sized objects orbiting a giant old star show that planets may assemble around stars more quickly and efficiently than anyone thought possible, according to an international team of astronomers. December 24, 2009

Supernova Remnants Reveal How the Star Exploded - At a very early age, children learn how to classify objects according to their shape. Now, new research suggests studying the shape of the aftermath of supernovas may allow astronomers to do the same. December 22, 2009

Hubble Finds Smallest Kuiper Belt Object Ever Seen - NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has discovered the smallest object ever seen in visible light in the Kuiper Belt, a vast ring of icy debris that is encircling the outer rim of the solar system just beyond Neptune. December 21, 2009

Astronomers Find Super-Earth Orbiting Red Dwarf Star - Astronomers announced that they have discovered a "super-Earth" orbiting a red dwarf star 40 light-years from Earth. December 17, 2009

Close-Up Photos of Dying Star Show Our Sun's Fate - About 550 light-years from Earth, a star like our Sun is writhing in its death throes. Chi Cygni has swollen in size to become a red giant star so large that it would swallow every planet out to Mars in our solar system. December 16, 2009

First Super-Earths Discovered Orbiting Sun-Like Stars - An international team of planet hunters has discovered as many as six low-mass planets around two nearby Sun-like stars, including two "super-Earths" with masses 5 and 7.5 times the mass of Earth. December 15, 2009

Suzaku Catches Retreat of a Black Hole's Disk - Studies of one of the galaxy's most active black-hole binaries reveal a dramatic change that will help scientists better understand how these systems expel fast-moving particle jets. December 14, 2009

Faint Star Orbiting the Big Dipper's Alcor Discovered - Next time you spy the Big Dipper, keep in mind that there is another star, invisible to the unaided eye, contributing to this constellation. December 11, 2009

Astronomers Recreate Stellar Jet With Laser Blast - With the trillions of watts contained in one brief pop of a powerful laser, the universe became a bit less mysterious. December 10, 2009

Hubble's Deepest View of Universe - The new Wide Field Camera 3 aboard the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope has taken the deepest image yet of the Universe in near-infrared light. December 9, 2009

What Happens When an Enormous Star Blows Up? - What happens when a really gargantuan star - one hundreds of times bigger than our sun - blows up? December 7, 2009

Planet-Like Object Orbiting Star Similar To Sun - An international team of scientists that includes an astronomer from Princeton University has made the first direct observation of a planet-like object orbiting a star similar to the sun. December 4, 2009

Superbright Supernova Is First of Its Kind - An extraordinarily bright, extraordinarily long-lasting supernova named SN 2007bi, snagged in a search by a robotic telescope, turns out to be the first example of the kind of stars that first populated the Universe. December 3, 2009

Nasa's Fermi Telescope Peers Deep Into a 'Micro-Quasar' - NASA's Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope has made the first unambiguous detection of high-energy gamma-rays from an enigmatic binary system known as Cygnus X-3. December 2, 2009

Volunteers Wanted for Simulated 520-Day Mars Mission - Starting in 2010, an international crew of six will simulate a 520-day round-trip to Mars, including a 30-day stay on the martian surface. November 30, 2009

Cassini Captures Ghostly Dance of Saturn's Northern Lights - In the first video showing the auroras above the northern latitudes of Saturn, Cassini has spotted the tallest known "northern lights" in the solar system, flickering in shape and brightness high above the ringed planet. November 27, 2009

View from the Center of Our Solar System - When NASA's Cassini spacecraft began orbiting Saturn five years ago, a dozen highly-tuned science instruments set to work surveying, sniffing, analyzing and scrutinizing the Saturnian system. November 26, 2009

Extensive Valley Network on Mars - New research adds to the growing body of evidence suggesting the Red Planet once had an ocean. November 25, 2009

Exploring the Baffling Boxy Bulge - When targeting spiral galaxy bulges, astronomers often seek edge-on galaxies, as their bulges are more easily distinguishable from the disc. November 24, 2009

Solar Winds Triggered by Magnetic Fields - Solar wind generated by the sun is probably driven by a process involving powerful magnetic fields, according to a new study led by UCL researchers based on the latest observations from the Hinode satellite. November 23, 2009

Exploring the Baffling Boxy Bulge - When targeting spiral galaxy bulges, astronomers often seek edge-on galaxies, as their bulges are more easily distinguishable from the disc. November 19, 2009

'Doomsday' 2012 Prediction Explained - Contrary to what the latest Hollywood blockbuster movie would suggest, the world will NOT end on Dec. 21, 2012, according to Ann Martin, a doctoral candidate in Cornell University's department of astronomy. November 18, 2009

Movie Shows Hidden Details in the Birth of Super-Suns - The constellation of Orion is a hotbed of massive star formation, most prominently in the Great Nebula that sits in Orion's sword. November 17, 2009

Exoplanets Clue To Sun's Curious Chemistry - A ground-breaking census of 500 stars, 70 of which are known to host planets, has successfully linked the long-standing "lithium mystery" observed in the Sun to the presence of planetary systems. November 13, 2009

NASA Reproduces A Building Block Of Life In Laboratory - NASA scientists studying the origin of life have reproduced uracil, a key component of our hereditary material, in the laboratory. November 12, 2009

Spitzer Observes A Chaotic Planetary System - Before our planets found their way to the stable orbits they circle in today, they wiggled and jostled about like unsettled children. November 11, 2009

Hubble Image Showcases Star Birth In M83 - The spectacular new camera installed on NASA's Hubble Space Telescope during Servicing Mission 4 in May has delivered the most detailed view of star birth in the graceful, curving arms of the nearby spiral galaxy M83. November 10, 2009

Carbon Atmosphere Discovered On Neutron Star - Evidence for a thin veil of carbon has been found on the neutron star in the Cassiopeia A supernova remnant. November 9, 2009

Shedding Light On The Cosmic Skeleton - Astronomers have tracked down a gigantic, previously unknown assembly of galaxies located almost seven billion light-years away from us. November 6, 2009

Professor To Predict Weather On Mars - Is there such a thing as "weather" on Mars? There are some doubts, considering the planet's atmosphere is only 1 percent as dense as that of the Earth. November 5, 2009

'Ultra-primitive' Particles Found In Comet Dust - Dust samples collected by high-flying aircraft in the upper atmosphere have yielded an unexpectedly rich trove of relicts from the ancient cosmos, report scientists from the Carnegie Institution. November 4, 2009

Solar Winds Triggered By Magnetic Fields - Solar wind generated by the sun is probably driven by a process involving powerful magnetic fields, according to a new study led by UCL researchers based on the latest observations from the Hinode satellite. November 3, 2009

Opening Up A Colorful Cosmic Jewel Box - Star clusters are among the most visually alluring and astrophysically fascinating objects in the sky. November 2, 2009

Long Night Falls Over Saturn's Rings - As Saturn's rings orbit the planet, a section is typically in the planet's shadow, experiencing a brief night lasting from 6 to 14 hours. October 29, 2009

Robot Armada Might Scale New Worlds - An armada of robots may one day fly above the mountain tops of Saturn's moon Titan, cross its vast dunes and sail in its liquid lakes. October 28, 2009

Galaxy Cluster Smashes Distance Record - The most distant galaxy cluster yet has been discovered by combining data from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory and optical and infrared telescopes. October 26, 2009

Astronomers Find Organic Molecules Around Gas Planet - NASA researchers have detected the basic chemistry for life in a second hot gas planet, advancing astronomers toward the goal of being able to characterize planets where life could exist. October 22, 2009

Last Visit Home For ESA's Comet Chaser Rosetta - ESA's Rosetta comet chaser will swing by Earth on 13 November to pick up orbital energy and begin the final leg of its 10-year journey to the outer Solar System. October 21, 2009

How The Moon Produces Its Own Water - The Moon is a big sponge that absorbs electrically charged particles given out by the Sun. October 20, 2009

New View Of The Heliosphere - In a paper published Oct. 15 in Science, researchers from the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory present a new view of the region of the sun’s influence, or heliosphere, and the forces that shape it. October 19, 2009

Giant Impact Near India May Have Doomed Dinosaurs - A mysterious basin off the coast of India could be the largest, multi-ringed impact crater the world has ever seen. October 16, 2009

Asteroid Is Actually A Protoplanet - Britney E. Schmidt, a UCLA doctoral student in the department of Earth and space sciences, wasn't sure what she'd glean from images of the asteroid Pallas taken by the Hubble Space Telescope. October 14, 2009

NASA Refines Asteroid Apophis' Path Toward Earth - Using updated information, NASA scientists have recalculated the path of a large asteroid. The refined path indicates a significantly reduced likelihood of a hazardous encounter with Earth in 2036. October 8, 2009

Dirty Stars Make Good Solar System Hosts - Some stars are lonely behemoths, with no surrounding planets or asteroids, while others sport a skirt of attendant planetary bodies. October 7, 2009

Heart Of A Galaxy Emits Gamma Rays - Quite a few distant galaxies turn out to be cosmic delivery rooms. Large numbers of massive stars are born in the hearts of these starburst galaxies, and later explode as supernovae. October 6, 2009

Herschel Views Deep-space Pearls On A Cosmic String - Europe's Herschel space telescope has delivered spectacular vistas of cold gas clouds lying near the plane of the Milky Way, revealing intense, unexpected activity. October 5, 2009

Rocky Exoplanet Has Bizarre Atmosphere - So accustomed are we to the sunshine, rain, fog and snow of our home planet that we find it next to impossible to imagine a different atmosphere and other forms of precipitation. October 2, 2009

World's Most Sensitive Astronomical Camera Developed - A team of Université de Montréal researchers, led by physics PhD student Olivier Daigle, has developed the world's most sensitive astronomical camera. October 1, 2009

Cosmic Rays Hit Space Age High - Planning a trip to Mars? Take plenty of shielding. According to sensors on NASA's ACE (Advanced Composition Explorer) spacecraft, galactic cosmic rays have just hit a Space Age high. September 30, 2009

New View Of Lagoon Nebula - The third image of ESO's GigaGalaxy Zoom project has just been released online, completing this eye-opening dive into our galactic home in outstanding fashion. September 29, 2009

Scientists See Water Ice In Fresh Meteorite Craters On Mars - NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has revealed frozen water hiding just below the surface of mid-latitude Mars. September 28, 2009

New Vista Of Milky Way Center Unveiled - A dramatic new vista of the center of the Milky Way galaxy from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory exposes new levels of the complexity and intrigue in the Galactic center. September 24, 2009

Planet's Color May Not Be Due To Rust - The widespread idea that Mars is red due to rocks being rusted by the water that once flooded the red planet may not be correct. September 23, 2009

Invading Black Holes Explain Cosmic Flashes - Black holes are invading stars, providing a radical explanation to bright flashes in the universe that are one of the biggest mysteries in astronomy today. September 22, 2009

Rare Meteorite Found In Australian Desert - Researchers have discovered an unusual kind of meteorite in the Western Australian desert and have uncovered where in the Solar System it came from, in a very rare finding published in the journal Science. September 21, 2009

Best-ever Ultraviolet Portrait Of Andromeda Galaxy - In a break from its usual task of searching for distant cosmic explosions, NASA's Swift satellite has acquired the highest-resolution view of a neighboring spiral galaxy ever attained in the ultraviolet. September 18, 2009

First Solid Evidence For A Rocky Exoplanet - The longest set of HARPS measurements ever made has firmly established the nature of the smallest and fastest-orbiting exoplanet known, CoRoT-7b, revealing its mass as five times that of Earth's. September 17, 2009

Ravenous Black Holes And Ripples In Space-Time Continuum - It may sound like science fiction, but freakish galactic events such as ravenous black holes and ripples in the space-time continuum could be happening all around us. September 15, 2009

High Energy Galactic Particle Accelerator Located - An unprecedented measuring campaign has succeeded in precisely defining the place of origin of high-energy gamma radiation in the galaxy Messier 87. September 14, 2009

Hubble Opens New Eyes On The Universe - NASA's Hubble Space Telescope is back in business, ready to uncover new worlds, peer ever deeper into space, and even map the invisible backbone of the universe. September 10, 2009

Neighboring Galaxies Collided 2-3 Billion Years Ago - An international team of astronomers, including Queen’s University physicist Larry Widrow, have uncovered evidence of a nearby cosmic encounter. September 9, 2009

Thousands Of New Images Show Mars In High Resolution - Thousands of newly released images from more than 1,500 telescopic observations by NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter show a wide range of gullies, dunes, craters, geological layering and other features on the Red Planet. September 7, 2009

Will Kepler Find Habitable Moons? - Since the launch of the NASA Kepler Mission earlier this year, astronomers have been keenly awaiting the first detection of an Earth-like planet around another star. September 4, 2009

Giant Galaxy Hosts Most Distant Supermassive Black Hole - University of Hawaii (UH) astronomer Dr. Tomotsugu Goto and colleagues have discovered a giant galaxy surrounding the most distant supermassive black hole ever found. September 3, 2009

Astronomers Find Coldest, Driest, Calmest Place On Earth - The search for the best observatory site in the world has lead to the discovery of what is thought to be the coldest, driest, calmest place on Earth. September 2, 2009

Cygnus X-1: Still A 'Star' After All Those Years - Since its discovery 45 years ago, Cygnus X-1 has been one of the most intensively studied cosmic X-ray sources. September 1, 2009

Extrasolar Hot Jupiter: The Planet That 'Shouldn’t Exist' - A planet has been discovered with ten times the mass of Jupiter, but which orbits its star in less than one Earth-day. August 28, 2009

Trifid Nebula: A Massive Star Factory - A new image of the Trifid Nebula, shows just why it is a firm favorite of astronomers, amateur and professional alike. August 27, 2009

Galaxies Demand A Stellar Recount - For decades, astronomers have gone about their business of studying the cosmos with the assumption that stars of certain sizes form in certain quantities. August 25, 2009

New Way To Reproduce A Black Hole? - Despite their popularity in the science fiction genre, there is much to be learned about black holes, the mysterious regions in space once thought to be absent of light. August 24, 2009

Seeing The Cosmos Through 'Warm' Infrared Eyes - NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope has taken its first shots of the cosmos since warming up and starting its second career. August 21, 2009

New Class Of Astronomical Object - A team of scientists in Australia and the United States, led by Associate Professor Miroslav Filipovic from the University of Western Sydney, has discovered a new class of object which they call Super Planetary Nebulae. August 18, 2009

Radiation From Massive Stars - A new study from two of NASA's Great Observatories provides fresh insight into how some stars are born, along with a beautiful new image of a stellar nursery in our Galaxy. August 14, 2009

Planet Smash-Up Sends Vaporized Rock, Hot Lava Flying - NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope has found evidence of a high-speed collision between two burgeoning planets around a young star. August 13, 2009

First Black Holes Born Starving - The first black holes in the universe had dramatic effects on their surroundings despite the fact that they were small and grew very slowly, according to new supercomputer simulations. August 12, 2009

LCROSS Spacecraft Detects Life On The Blue Planet - The LCROSS spacecraft completed its first Earth-look calibration of its science payload. An additional Earth-look and a moon-look are scheduled for the remainder of the cruise phase of the mission. August 11, 2009

Saturnian Moon Shows Evidence Of Ammonia - Data collected during two close flybys of Saturn's moon Enceladus by NASA's Cassini spacecraft add more fuel to the fire about the Saturnian ice world containing sub-surface liquid water. August 10, 2009

Astronomers Find Hyperactive Galaxies In Early Universe - Looking almost 11 billion years into the past, astronomers have measured the motions of stars for the first time in a very distant galaxy and clocked speeds upwards of one million miles per hour, about twice the speed of our Sun through the Milky Way. August 7, 2009

Double Engine Fuels Star's Remarkable Nebula - ESO has just released a stunning new image of a field of stars towards the constellation of Carina (the Keel). August 6, 2009

How Supergiant Stars Lose Mass - Betelgeuse - the second brightest star in the constellation of Orion - is a red supergiant, one of the biggest stars known, and almost 1000 times larger than our Sun. August 4, 2009

Integral Disproves Dark Matter Origin For Mystery Radiation - A team of researchers working with data from ESA’s Integral gamma-ray observatory has disproved theories that some form of dark matter explains mysterious radiation in the Milky Way. August 3, 2009

Wind Estimate 'Shortens' Saturn's Day By Five Minutes - A new way of detecting how fast large gaseous planets are rotating suggests Saturn’s day lasts 10 hours, 34 minutes and 13 seconds - over five minutes shorter than previous estimates that were based on the planet’s magnetic fields. July 31, 2009

Cosmic Dance Helps Galaxies Lose Weight - A study published July 30 in the journal Nature offers an explanation for the origin of dwarf spheroidal galaxies. The research may settle an outstanding puzzle in understanding galaxy formation. July 30, 2009

How Saturn's Moon Got Its Stripes - A new study has revealed the origins of tiger stripes and a subsurface ocean on Enceladus- one of Saturn’s many moons. July 29, 2009

Magnetic Field On Bright Star Vega - Astronomy & Astrophysics is publishing the first detection of a magnetic field on the star Vega, one of the brightest stars in the sky. July 27, 2009

NASA Celebrates Chandra X-Ray Observatory's 10th Anniversary - Ten years ago, on July 23, 1999, NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory was launched aboard the space shuttle Columbia and deployed into orbit. July 24, 2009

Jupiter Pummeled, Leaving Bruise The Size Of Pacific Ocean - Scientists have found evidence that another object has bombarded Jupiter, exactly 15 years after the first impacts by the comet Shoemaker-Levy 9. July 22, 2009

Turbulence Responsible For Black Holes' Balancing Act - We live in a hierarchical Universe where small structures join into larger ones. Earth is a planet in our Solar System, the Solar System resides in the Milky Way Galaxy, and galaxies combine into groups and clusters. July 21, 2009

First Look At The Apollo Landing Sites - The imaging system on board NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) recently had its first of many opportunities to photograph the Apollo landing sites. July 20, 2009

Eagle Nebula: An Eagle Of Cosmic Proportions - Located 7000 light-years away, towards the constellation of Serpens , the Eagle Nebula is a dazzling stellar nursery, a region of gas and dust where young stars are currently being formed and where a cluster of massive, hot stars, NGC 6611, has just been born. July 17, 2009

New Map Hints At Venus's Wet, Volcanic Past - Venus Express has charted the first map of Venus's southern hemisphere at infrared wavelengths. July 16, 2009

Minerals On Mars Influence Measuring Of Its Temperature - A team of researchers from the CSIC-INTA Astrobiology Centre in Madrid has confirmed that the type of mineralogical composition on the surface of Mars influences the measuring of its temperature. July 15, 2009

Herschel Images Promise Bright Future For Astronomy - Herschel has carried out the first test observations with all its instruments, with spectacular results. Galaxies, star-forming regions and dying stars comprised the telescope’s first targets. July 14, 2009

Living Fossil Records 'Supermassive' Kick - The tight cluster of stars surrounding a supermassive black hole after it has been violently kicked out of a galaxy represents a new kind of astronomical object and a fossil record of the kick. July 13, 2009

Coolest Spacecraft Ever In Orbit Around L2 - On July 2 the detectors of Planck's High Frequency Instrument reached their amazingly low operational temperature of -273°C, making them the coldest known objects in space. July 10, 2009

Giant Supernovae Farthest Ever Detected - UC Irvine cosmologists have found two supernovae farther away than any previously detected by using a new technique that could help find other dying stars at the edge of the universe. July 9, 2009

New Portrait Of Omega Nebula's Glistening Watercolors - The Omega Nebula, sometimes called the Swan Nebula, is a dazzling stellar nursery located about 5500 light-years away towards the constellation of Sagittarius. July 8, 2009

Fast Neutral Hydrogen Detected Coming From The Moon - NASA's Interstellar Boundary Explorer (IBEX) spacecraft has made the first observations of very fast hydrogen atoms coming from the moon, following decades of speculation and searching for their existence. July 6, 2009

New Class Of Black Holes Discovered - A new class of black hole, more than 500 times the mass of the Sun, has been discovered by an international team of astronomers. July 3, 2009

Intense Heat Killed The Universe's Would-be Galaxies - Millions of would-be galaxies failed to develop after being exposed to intense heat from the first stars and black holes formed in the early Universe, according to new research. July 2, 2009

First Direct Evidence Of Lightning On Mars Detected - For the first time, direct evidence of lightning has been detected on Mars, say University of Michigan researchers who found signs of electrical discharges during dust storms on the Red Planet. July 1, 2009

Cosmic Rays Accelerated In Remnants Of Exploding Stars - Thanks to a unique "ballistic study" that combines data from ESO's Very Large Telescope and NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory, astronomers have now solved a long-standing mystery of the Milky Way’s particle accelerators. June 29, 2009

1908 Tunguska Explosion Was Caused By A Comet - The mysterious 1908 Tunguska explosion that leveled 830 square miles of Siberian forest was almost certainly caused by a comet entering the Earth's atmosphere, says new Cornell University research. June 26, 2009

Galaxies Coming Of Age In Cosmic Blobs - The "coming of age" of galaxies and black holes has been pinpointed, thanks to new data from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory and other telescopes. June 25, 2009

New Light Shed On 'Dark' Gamma-ray Bursts - Gamma-ray bursts are the universe's biggest explosions, capable of producing so much light that ground-based telescopes easily detect it billions of light-years away. June 22, 2009

Definitive Evidence For Ancient Lake On Mars - A University of Colorado at Boulder research team has discovered the first definitive evidence of shorelines on Mars, an indication of a deep, ancient lake there and a finding with implications for the discovery of past life on the Red Planet. June 19, 2009

Giant Eruption Reveals 'Dead' Star - NASA's Swift satellite reported multiple blasts of radiation from a rare object known as a soft gamma repeater, or SGR. June 17, 2009

Baby Stars Finally Found In Jumbled Galactic Center - Astronomers have at last uncovered newborn stars at the frenzied center of our Milky Way galaxy. The discovery was made using the infrared vision of NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope. June 12, 2009

New Cleaning Protocol For Future 'Search For Life' Missions - Scientists have developed a new cleaning protocol for space hardware, such as the scoops of Mars rovers, which could be used on future "Search for Life" missions on other planets. June 11, 2009

Supernova Remnant Is An Unusual Suspect - A new image from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory shows a supernova remnant with a different look. June 10, 2009

A New Way To Measure Cosmic Distances - Ohio State University researchers have found a way to measure distances to objects three times farther away in outer space than previously possible, by extending a common measurement technique. June 9, 2009

New Class Of Dim Supernovae - Core-collapse (or gravitational) supernovae are among the most energetic and violent events in the universe. They constitute the final tremendous explosions that end the life cycles of stars more massive than approximately 8 times the Sun. June 8, 2009

Cassini Finds Titan's Clouds Hang On To Summer - Cloud chasers studying Saturn's moon Titan say its clouds form and move much like those on Earth, but in a much slower, more lingering fashion. June 4, 2009

Stellar Explosion Displays Massive Carbon Footprint - While humans are still struggling to get rid of unwanted carbon it appears that the heavens are really rather good at it. June 3, 2009

First Complete X-ray View Of A Galaxy Cluster - The joint Japan-U.S. Suzaku mission is providing new insight into how assemblages of thousands of galaxies pull themselves together. June 2, 2009

Ghost Remains After Black Hole Eruption - NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory has found a cosmic "ghost" lurking around a distant supermassive black hole. June 1, 2009

XMM-Newton Takes Astronomers To A Black Hole's Edge - Using new data from ESA's XMM-Newton spaceborne observatory, astronomers have probed closer than ever to a supermassive black hole lying deep at the core of a distant active galaxy. May 29, 2009

Giant Galaxy Messier 87 Finally Sized Up - Using ESO's Very Large Telescope, astronomers have succeeded in measuring the size of giant galaxy Messier 87 and were surprised to find that its outer parts have been stripped away by still unknown effects. May 25, 2009

Victoria Crater Unveils More Of Mars' Geologic Past - After thoroughly investigating Victoria Crater on Mars for two years, the instruments aboard the Rover Opportunity reveal more evidence of our neighboring red planet's windy, wet and wild past. May 22, 2009

World's Observatories Watching 'Cool' Star - The Whole Earth Telescope (WET), a worldwide network of observatories coordinated by the University of Delaware, is synchronizing its lenses to provide round-the-clock coverage of a cooling star. May 21, 2009

Spitzer Catches Star Cooking Up Comet Crystals - Scientists have long wondered how tiny silicate crystals, which need sizzling high temperatures to form, have found their way into frozen comets, born in the deep freeze of the solar system's outer edges. May 15, 2009

New Way Of Reading Light With Help Locate Earth-like Planets - Thanks to the ability of astronomers to detect the presence of extrasolar planets orbiting distant stars, scientists today are able to examine hundreds of solar systems. May 13, 2009

Changes In The Sun Are Not Causing Global Warming - With the U.S. Congress beginning to consider regulations on greenhouse gases, a troubling hypothesis about how the sun may impact global warming is finally laid to rest. May 12, 2009

New Model For Dark Energy - Imagine a time when the entire universe froze. According to a new model for dark energy, that is essentially what happened about 11.5 billion years ago, when the universe was a quarter of the size it is today. May 11, 2009

Star Crust 10 Billion Times Stronger Than Steel - Research by a theoretical physicist at Indiana University shows that the crusts of neutron stars are 10 billion times stronger than steel or any other of the earth's strongest metal alloys. May 7, 2009

Astronomer To Search Space For Precursors Of Life - Many of the organic molecules that make up life on Earth have also been found in space. A University of Michigan astronomer will use the Herschel Space Observatory to study these chemical compounds in new detail in the warm clouds of gas and dust around young stars. May 6, 2009

Resolving A Galactic Mystery - An extremely deep Chandra X–ray Observatory image of a region near the center of the Milky Way Galaxy has resolved a long-standing mystery about an X-ray glow along the plane of the our home galaxy. May 5, 2009

Missing Planets Attest To Destructive Power Of Stars' Tides - During the last two decades, astronomers have found hundreds of planets orbiting stars outside our solar system. May 4, 2009

Unusual Impact Basin Discovered On Mercury - A previously unknown, large impact basin has been discovered by the Mercury Surface, Space Environment, Geochemistry, and Ranging spacecraft during its second flyby of Mercury in October 2008. May 1, 2009

Did Comets Contain Key Ingredients For Life On Earth? - Comets have always fascinated us. In early cultures, a mysterious appearance of a comet could symbolize a deity's displeasure with humankind or mean a sure failure in battle, at least for one side. April 30, 2009

New Gamma-Ray Burst Smashes Cosmic Distance Record - NASA's Swift satellite and an international team of astronomers have found a gamma-ray burst from a star that died when the universe was only 630 million years old, or less than five percent of its present age. April 29, 2009

Solar Wind Tans Young Asteroids - A new study published in Nature this week reveals that asteroid surfaces age and redden much faster than previously thought - in less than a million years, the blink of an eye for an asteroid. April 28, 2009

Peanut-shaped Stellar Explosion Spotted By Hubble - Using the NASA / ESA Hubble Space Telescope (HST), an international team of astronomers have taken the first optical images of a dramatic stellar outburst and discovered a peanut-shaped bubble expanding rapidly into space. April 27, 2009

Mysterious Space Blob Discovered At Cosmic Dawn - Using information from a suite of telescopes, astronomers have discovered a mysterious, giant object that existed at a time when the universe was only about 800 million years old. April 24, 2009

Students Find Jupiter-sized Oddball Planet - A team of astronomers from University College London (UCL), including undergraduate students, have discovered that an exotic world passes directly in front of the Sun-like star it orbits, revealing for the first time that it is about the same size as Jupiter. April 23, 2009

Lightest Exoplanet Yet Discovered - Exoplanet researchers have discovered the lightest exoplanet found so far. The planet, “e”, in the famous system Gliese 581, is only about twice the mass of our Earth. April 22, 2009

Solar Systems Around Dead Suns? - Using NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope, an international team of astronomers have found that at least 1 in 100 white dwarf stars show evidence of orbiting asteroids and rocky planets, suggesting these objects once hosted solar systems similar to our own. April 21, 2009

Cosmic Heavyweights In Free-for-all - The most crowded collision of galaxy clusters has been identified by combining information from three different telescopes. April 20, 2009

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